Drugs Charges Successes
Experience secures unanimous acquittal in 4 day supply of controlled drugs trial
MTM secured a unanimous acquittal in a case which involved challenging a Crown expert and attacking police expert evidence that the circumstances were consistent with the client being involved in drug dealing. The 4 day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court underlined the value of experience: a seasoned lawyer knows how to challenge evidence. This case involved a high-profile businessman from Dundee. Expert knowledge regarding quantities of drugs and arrangements relating to supply of drugs was critical to MTM winning the case, as well as the firm's vast experience in challenging prosecution experts in such cases.
MTM gets a result in Stornoway supply of drugs case
A Stornoway man was accused of being involved in the supply of a Class A drugs. The courts in this island-community part of Scotland take supply of drugs very seriously and are highly protective of their locality. The client had been asked to hold on to, or effectively store, a package of drugs, on behalf of someone else. He had then subsequently gone to the police and given himself up, but they refused to believe him. However some two weeks later they came out to search his house and found the drugs.
This was a highly unusual case in that the client had confessed his involvement to the police. The location was remote and involved all three senior members of the MTM team going up to the Stornoway on a number of occasions to pursue the case and gather all the details. We also met the Prosecutor and got him to agree the circumstances of our client's position and involvement – and it was this that saved him. He was acquitted of the charge.
Successful appeal in the High Court. 18 months sentence reduced to time served
This was an appeal against conviction and sentence and was in respect of a grandmother who was previously employed as a drugs support worker. The case attracted a good deal of media attention as she was convicted of being concerned in the supply of drugs. There was an appeal against the conviction on the basis that the police expert did not have sufficient expertise to provide opinion evidence. MTM carried out detailed research into the expert and where they got their information from – a common theme in MTM's work.
Ultimately, the appeal against conviction was unsuccessful: the court took the view that the prosecution expert was competent and the conviction remained. MTM then focused on the sentence itself. MTM delved into the particular circumstances of the accused and gathered information about her family commitments, her good character and other references. It meant that we were able to persuade the court to quash the sentence from 18 months imprisonment to the time she had spent already in custody, which was about two and a half months. Although, we did not win the overall appeal, we nevertheless managed to secure the client's immediate release and save her from serving the remainder of the sentence – some 15 and a half months.
This case illustrated MTM's attention to detail and its commitment to keep going to get the best possible outcome for a client. This often involves 'riding two horses at the same time'; in this instance trying to get the original conviction overturned and at the same time seeking to ensure, if that was not possible, that the sentence would be much reduced, or, as in this case, quashed. The client regained her liberty immediately.
Incidentally too, before the trial started the Crown had libelled a number of additional charges that they could not hope to prove, but which they thought would influence the jury. MTM lodged a minute stating that the conduct was oppressive and the Sheriff agreed – which meant they could not be considered. This is all part of what MTM does on a daily basis to reduce the number and severity of charges against its clients.
MTM gets result in complicated drugs case
A 3 year drug case in Falkirk, involving a detailed investigation on the part of MTM, has finally been dropped by the prosecutor. In a case in which fingerprint evidence was excluded, the prosecution had to agree that some of the productions could not be used.
Experience secures unanimous acquittal in 4 day supply of controlled drugs trial
MTM has secured a unanimous acquittal in a case which involved challenging a Crown expert and attacking police expert evidence that the circumstances were consistent with the client being involved in drug dealing. The 4 day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court underlined the value of experience: a seasoned lawyer knows how to challenge evidence.
Client acquitted in serious drugs case
In statements in a case at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, the police had said that they had tested some powder found on an accused person who had been prosecuted for possession of diamorphine (heroin). The sample had gone for testing and was found by the laboratory not to be heroin and also not an illegal substance. MTM’s client was acquitted of the charge.
Serious charge in High Court Class A drugs case dropped following successful advocacy
In a high-value Class A drugs surveillance case at the High Court, one of MTM’s Solicitor-Advocates has successfully acted on behalf of a client accused of having destroyed a mobile telephone SIM card.
The charge, a serious one of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, was dealt with by a member of the MTM team. Skilful advocacy from an MTM Solicitor-Advocate with long experience of such cases convinced the prosecutors to drop the charge.
Serious charge of supply leads to limited sentence thanks to expert advocacy
A client who pled guilty to his third supply of Class A drugs on Indictment, and who also has a summary conviction for supply of drugs, has received a limited sentence to only 27 months. This serious crime and charge would customarily result in a period of several years imprisonment; once again, expert defence led to a much reduced sentence.
MTM use Human Rights legal knowledge to out-manoeuvre prosecution team in serious drugs case
A very serious drugs case at Glasgow Sheriff Court has been discontinued by the Crown after MTM used its expertise in the area of Human Rights Law criminal procedure to seize the advantage and put the prosecution team on the back foot.
The case was one in which it was alleged that an MTM client had been concerned in the supply of heroin. MTM had been seeking information that included the details of an alleged confession made by our client – information that had not been disclosed by the Prosecutor’s Office to the MTM defence team. In all cases, the prosecution is under a duty to disclose information to the defence which is relevant to the prosecution, particularly in evidence they may intend to use at trial.
As a result of the lack of disclosure, one of our Solicitor Advocates drafted a “Devolution Issue Minute” which was lodged with the Court. The Court agreed to appoint a debate for the Devolution Issue Minute to be considered. Had the Minute been successful then the whole proceedings would have been thrown out by the Sheriff. As it happened the Procurator Fiscal instead decided to discontinue the proceedings against our client instead of waiting for the Sheriff’s decision.
MTM secures short sentence in supply of Class A drugs case – despite aggravating circumstances
Failing to attend Court is in itself a very serious charge. MTM has represented a client who failed to attend a preliminary hearing at Edinburgh High Court in relation to a charge of supplying a Class A drug, itself a serious offence and one for which the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
Following his failure to attend, a warrant was issued for his arrest and he pled guilty to a charge of failing to attend at Court under Section 102 (A) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. One of MTM’s Solicitor Advocates represented him in these proceedings which took place at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. MTM was able to persuade the Sheriff to limit the period of imprisonment imposed to only two months which was a particularly exceptional result for the client.
Acquittal secured in serious drugs case involving charges of supply of controlled drugs
At Stirling Sheriff Court, MTM secured a client’s acquittal relating to two charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Section 4(3)(b), for being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.
At the Sheriff and Jury trial, we were able to persuade the Procurator Fiscal to reduce these very serious charges to a simple charge of being in possession of the controlled drug, and the client was simply given a small fine. Careful negotiation with the Procurator Fiscal behind the scenes led to the best possible result for our client. The outcome demonstrates that not all cases require us to go to trial to have cases against a client reduced from a very serious level down to a low level.
Detailed MTM research in drugs case leads to minor fine for client rather than a custodial sentence
An MTM client who pled guilty to a very serious charge of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs has received a small fine rather than a custodial sentence.
The client had been found in possession of drugs to an estimated value of just under £700. Detailed research by a member of the MTM legal defence team discovered exceptional circumstances which allowed the Sheriff to take the view that this was a case which could be dealt with by imposing only a minor fine.
In the usual run of things, a person convicted of supplying controlled drugs would face a prison sentence; in this case, the diligence of MTM saved the client from that eventuality.